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Friday open thread: What is your sports fandom hierarchy?

Are the Lions at the top for you? Do you follow the NBA closer than the NFL? What is your particular order of fandom?

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

With the 2023 NBA draft wrapping up last night, I figured now would be a good time to examine our own fandom hierarchies. Ahead of the aforementioned draft, I had some friends over to kick it, talk about what our Detroit Pistons would do to improve a young roster that has taken its lumps over the last few years.

After everyone had gone home and I was stuck deliberating on a question of the day topic, it dawned on me. I wondered how other fans around the world view their own sports fandom hierarchies.

Everyone has their own reasons as to why they follow one team or league more closely than the rest. Maybe they played college soccer, and following their favorite Premier League club is far and away their number one priority as a fan. Or maybe someone had really fond memories of watching Detroit Lions’ Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders in the 90s—cementing their lifelong fandom long before the soul-crushing decade that was the 2000-2010 era of Lions football. Or perhaps you have a few more years under your belt than others, and you can actually remember our hometown Detroit Tigers winning the 1984 World Series.

For one reason or another—fans typically have their own specific motivations on why they follow one sport more closely than another.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

What is your fandom hierarchy?

My answer: For me, there are really two tiers to my fandom. As they always have during my 32 years on this planet, the Lions are at the top. I love damn near everything about football season, and even when the Lions were terrible I found ways to enjoy being a fan.

Coming in second are the Pistons and the NBA as a whole. These playoffs were simply amazing, even if the NBA Finals lacked a bit of juice due to the Denver Nuggets being a bit of a mismatch for the Miami Heat. And to be fair to Miami, the Nuggets were the best team in the NBA this year by a fairly wide margin.

After that, the three and four spots switch, depending on the year. I follow both the Detroit Red Wings and the Tigers, but not nearly as closely as I follow the Lions and Pistons. I enjoy watching both sports, but even if I wanted to follow them like I do football and basketball, I don’t think my brain has the bandwidth to do so properly. After all, I have to leave room for other important things—like work, Lord of the Rings, and anime.

What about you? What is your fandom hierarchy? Let us know in the comments by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

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